Something for everybody at this year's arts festival

Arts Festival Dunedin director Nicholas McBryde tells guests at the Regent Theatre last night that Belgian singer Micheline Van Hautem will be one of a diverse range of acts performing at this year's festival. Photos by Peter McIntosh.
Arts Festival Dunedin director Nicholas McBryde tells guests at the Regent Theatre last night that Belgian singer Micheline Van Hautem will be one of a diverse range of acts performing at this year's festival. Photos by Peter McIntosh.
Arts Festival Dunedin is back with a new name and a fresh focus on Dunedin.

Director Nicholas McBryde, back in the role after one festival away, announced the October 10-19 line-up, which features a diverse mix of local and international acts, at an event at the Regent Theatre yesterday.

Called the Otago Festival of the Arts since it was established in 1999, this year's festival would focus on the city's artistic talent.

Acts on the programme range from Circa (Australia) performing the contemporary circus ''Beyond'', to Tim Finn's White Cloud, an exploration of what it meant to be a Pakeha growing up in the 1950s and 1960s .

Mr McBryde refused to pick a potential highlight from this year's programme, saying he designed the festival ''so everything is going to be somebody's favourite''.

An example of its focus on Dunedin performers was the late-night festival club, which exclusively featured musicians from the city.

Organising this year's line-up in little more than a year - after he was reappointed in the role last April - had proven difficult, as it had previously taken him up to four years to put together.

His return came after the festival was mired in controversy when previous director Alec Wheeler suddenly resigned in December after the 2012 festival and it emerged many performers had not been paid.

Other acts in this year's line-up include Belgian singer Micheline Van Hautem, who will perform a selection of classics by her fellow countryman Jacques Brel, the Irish Rovers, who are visiting Dunedin as part of their worldwide farewell tour, and a performance from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz

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